Sunday, January 27, 2013

Want to learn a new language?

Guide for the impatient:

Go to:
Learn something, translate, start understanding, document yourself.

Programmers, you have an API which is *free of charge* compared to others.


Probably you remember how you learned your first foreign language. You got a book, you read stuff from it, you memorized words, expressions, grammar rules etc.

After that the process started to flow normally, you engage in a conversation, learn other words, expressions etc.

It was a pretty selfish way of learning it, wasn't it? I mean everything that you learnt stayed with you, and things you've forgotten will usually be forgotten.

I believe that right now you can learn it in a modern way, leaving some contribution so that others and even you can benefit from it.

It's not unrealistic!

And from my experience I can tell you that there a lot to be learn from this experience.

I will offer, as an example, my experience as a Wikipedia contributor on some technical articles. I knew some things about what I should write but contributing implies:
  • extensive documentation from different sources which in the end is beneficial both for you and for the universal encyclopedia
  • a good explanation of the process
  • a deep understanding of the subject
The main question that people ask themselves is why bother? what do I gain from this?
  • You get feedback, which is by far the most important thing that's missing from most of our learning activities!
  • You compare your information with others
  • You'll be possibly defending your opinion by giving more arguments, which is again beneficial
Another similar example could be openstreetmap.

So go on an contribute to

No comments: